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Guerrilla: the taking of Patty Hearst

“Death to the Fascist Insect that Preys upon the Life of the People!”

Patty Hearst
Patty Hearst, during the April 1974 Hibernia bank robbery (image in Public Domain)

Wajeed – The Patty Hearst Beat Tape

Before listening to this podcast I wasn’t too aware of the Patty Hearst case, but the weird audio/speech excerpts from the mixtape (wherein the captured Patty Hearst communicates with the rest of the world / the press / her parents) made me curious, so I watched Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army, a documentary made in 2005.

The ‘war against terror’ caused a renewed interest in 70s American terrorist group such as the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). Some of the (now quite old) members of the SLA recently got convicted, which led to the production of the documentary.

It’s an interesting story (and weird court case), a post-modern Robin Hood story and total media frenzy. As Wajeed (the creator of the mix tape) puts it:

The Patty Hearst story is one of America’s greatest real life stories. It almost seems fictional, but it’s real life. … This group of revolutionaries kidnaps this heiress. She starts to see and understan their good intentions in wanting to feed people and make change, like on some Robin Hood type shit. She then falls in love with one of the guys, joins the group and by the end is robbing and shooting… and possibly kills someone. It ends with everyone from the group being jailed or killed and she returns back home to “perfect” life, as she calls it, and doing the talk show circuit.